By Yinka Kolawole
A woman right organisation, the Society for Life Changers and Good Parental Care (SoLife) has trained Osun teenagers on the disadvantages of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) with a view of making them ambassadors on zero tolerance to the practice.
Stating this during the commemoration of International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM, themed “Unleashing Youth Power”, organised by SoLife in collaboration with Positive Action for Girls and Women, UK, held at Omilas Continental, Osogbo recently, the General Manager Osun Ambulance Services, Dr Olusegun Babatunde said FGFM is a harmful and unhealthy practice with short and long term consequences.
Babatunde who was represented by Dr. Mrs. Asiat Olaoye-Badmus of Light Hospital said research shows that worldwide an average of four girl child is mutilated every minute, adding that 52 per cent of families in Nigeria practice FGM, and that Osun has 41 per cent of the prevalent rate.
The doctor stated that there was no justification and no definite evidence on how and why FGM began, but that it is often done on its victim during infancy, childhood, teenage/puberty year, at marriageable age or during pregnancy with its category of clitoridectomy, excision, infibulation and others such as tattooing, pricking, burning or cauterisation, among others.
The Executive Director and Chairman, BOT, SOLIFE, Mr Aremu Stephen Akinyele highlighted that Osun State was one of the states with high prevalence of FGM, and that SoLife has taken it upon itself to fight the existence of the practice in the state through sensitisation.
Earlier in his goodwill message, representative of Director School, Osun Ministry of Education, Mr. Ayodele Abulude commended SOLIFE and Good Parental Care for caring for young people, the poor and marginalied in Osun with a view to achieving a healthy and developed society.
He also added that knowledge was power and that with rapid development in this modern time, it was important to empower the teeming teenagers with necessary awareness on happenings around them as stakeholders.
Also, Mrs Oyedola Kadijat, a teacher with one of the schools for special needs said FGM also affects the physically challenged, adding that the persons with disabilities suffer more from withheld information because of their status.
She further added that sensitisation crusade should be made available to parents in the society on stopping FGM against the girl child.